tandem nursing demanding toddler - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 02-12-2014, 09:18 AM - Thread Starter
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just a question for the experienced tandem nursers out there.


I'm proud to still be providing breastmilk/comfort for DS1 who is 2, but he is struggling taking no for an answer when I need to focus on DS2. I simply can not nurse them at the same time very easily. I nurse DS1 whenever I can separately, but his interest peaks when DS2 is nursing. At bed-time and before naps, I do my best to nurse DS1 when he needs me even if I'm nursing DS2. Sometimes the positioning gives me vasospasms or his teeth clench my nipple and I'm in pain. Whenever I turn him away, he throws a horrible tantrum (subsequently ending the sleep routine). It doesn't help that he has a speech delay, so he can't express himself in words. He literally physically attacks me, grabbing at my shirt and trying to sit on my lap. I have had to push him off of me to protect the little one from being stomped on. This is very upsetting and making me regret tandem nursing.


Please, does someone have any advice? I feel like DS2 is getting the short end of the stick because of all the interruptions while he is just trying to relax and eat. He doesn't get to drift off to sleep restfully at the breast without his big brother pushing him away. It doesn't help that he is dealing with reflux as well. I am depending way to much on turning a show on for DS1 as it is the ONLY distraction he will tolerate when he wants to nurse. Help anyone!?

Happily married to DH 

Stay-at-home mama to DS1 (01/12) & DS2 (01/14)

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#2 of 4 Old 02-12-2014, 09:54 AM
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I'm sorry Mama....I know how tough it can trying to tend to your newborn while not discounting the needs of your older child (who is louder, stronger, and arguably, way more demanding).  I actually became a bit resentful of my daughter who was 2 years when my second was born (they almost shared a birthday) because she was so insistent and grabby.  She wasn't nursing much while I was pregnant, but it was on demand.  Once her brother was born I had to set some boundaries because she would have been nursing all the the time (I think she would have given up solids), and I couldn't handle the constant nursing between the two of them.  I wasn't militant about it but it was essentially 4 times a day....wake up, lunchtime, afternoon-ish/before dinner, and bedtime.  During the transition from on-demand to more scheduled I explained to her that boobies were tired and needed to rest, and tried to replace the nursing with snuggles, reading, or something else (i.e. focus on her).  The new routine quickly became the norm and it worked really well for both of us because she knew when she could nurse and so she didn't have that uncertainty of whether she could or couldn't, I wasn't feeling angry towards her because she wasn't demanding booby all the time any more, and we both had that dedicated time together.  Also, my daughter watched more TV during those first few weeks (months?  its a blur) than I liked, but I tried not to worry about it too much.  Its a time of transition for everyone and not forever....if a little more tv saves your sanity then its more than worth it.


Good luck.

Mama to F (3/09) and S (3/11); and never forgetting my babe gone too soon angel1.gif(4/10).

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#3 of 4 Old 02-18-2014, 10:51 AM
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I could have easily written your post a few months ago! Sounds like my life lol. My daughter is almost 2 and I have a 7 month old. They are both very high needs and both nurse a lot. I love nursing them separately, or together when they are calm. But when my daughter is in a bouncy mood, her latch gets messed up, and it's just not enjoyable for me. Even if her latch is good and they are calm, it gets really overwhelming to have them both needing to nurse so often!!! Sometimes I just want to say, "IT'S MY BODY!!" lol. There are times when it does my sanity good to deny her the breast if I am at the point where I am just way too overwhelmed. Then the nice tantrum ensues....She does get pretty possessive with the boobs at times. I absolutely don't tolerate her pushing her brother off the boob or doing anything to lash out at him. She has been better lately, but it was pretty bad at one point with her screaming and slapping me and throwing herself on me. SO overwhelming >< She's also like your son, not very verbal, especially when she's upset.

Usually in the morning I am full of enough milk to satisfy my son with one breast. So in the mornings I let them both nurse for however long. During the day I always offer her the one that is less full. It's hard when my son is napping or something and I know he is going to wake up pretty hungry, so nursing on one side won't satisfy him. Those are the times when I get the biggest tantrum out of her :( But usually what I do is either give her the boob that is less full or I will tell her to wait until he is done. At first she didn't get it, but after the situation repeating so many times, she is getting better at being patient. Sometimes she even forgets by the end of his nursing session! Unless I am busy, I do like to offer the breast even if she does forget, so my supply won't go down.

Also, it took a while for my son to get used to her moving so much while he was trying to nurse. Sometimes he absolutely wouldn't nurse if she was nursing. But he got used to it and now it is usually a very nice bonding experience for them while they nurse. You'll find your groove, momma. How old is your 2nd boy?

I hope this is helpful, although I'm not sure it is. There isn't much advice I can give, except to say tough it out if you can, it will be SO worth it! They are only small for a short amount of time. Nurse and cuddle while you still can! Good luck momma! <3

Mommy to Adilene Faithjoy.gifand Damon LeeROTFLMAO.gifWife of Joshua fuzmalesling.gif

Breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering x2

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#4 of 4 Old 02-22-2014, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the replies, ladies! It's so helpful for me to see how your handling a similar situation! I'm sorry I haven't responded. I have the hardest time getting on here to type anything.


I think things are getting better. I have put him on a "schedule" per crayfishgirl's recommendation. 4x/day, before and after sleep times....and extra for any hurts of course. So I can always say, "not now, but before your nap we can do it." He seems to accept this better. If he is extra demanding or pushy, I will tell him until I count to 5 and that seems to work too. He is still very physical, and even when he's not asking to nurse he wants to sit all over me or get behind my back when I am nursing and I struggle with that.


One major thing is the nursing aversion I have when nursing both of them. It's especially worse at night. I have DH rub my neck while nursing to distract me from the feelings. I hope this gets better! Or perhaps I can move to never having to nurse them both at the same time! DS2 just needs to nurse so much now that I am trying to accommodate DS1 too at vulnerable times like bedtime.


I am super distracted while writing this....but yeah, thanks! I'm hoping things get even better because I'm not interested in weaning like my mom/dh are recommending :)

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Happily married to DH 

Stay-at-home mama to DS1 (01/12) & DS2 (01/14)

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